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Get A Grasp of Your Dog Collar

Updated on December 3, 2014

What did you think about the last time you bought a collar for your dog, the color or how it looks? Many of us purchase a new collar without putting much thought into buying it other than its color or its style. After the collar is on the Dog most of us don’t even think about it twice until we realize it might be time to buy a new again. There are many factors that need to go into your collar buying decision other than looks or color such as what kind of collar, is it the right size or what purpose is it going to have. Give some thought next time you are going to buy a collar for your dog and even for the collar that is currently on your Dog.

The current collar is kind of old, looks dirty, worn out at the edges or we are just tired of the same color. So its time for a new collar but what kind to get? What do we think of when deciding on a new one? What color should I get, nylon or leather, jewelry or not, these things are good to think about and should go into our decision making. After all, we really do not want a collar that our precious little pup is not going to look good in when they are strutting down the road or in the park. Besides the looks alone we also need to think about other things such as what is the collar being used for, just walking or training purposes, size, material, head collar, flat, martingale, chain or a choke collar. All of these things need to be considered so we make the right buying decision that is best for our dog.

Flat Collar

Does SIZE Really matter?

A normal collar is needed for everyday walking and wearing, so what size to get? Collars come in a wide variety of lengths and widths. The normal rule of thumb says you should be able to get two fingers underneath the collar. It should not be so tight to choke your dog or too loose where they can slip out of it. If your dog is still growing make sure to check on the collar size frequently. If you are satisfied with the size of your current collar then just measure that one and replace with the same measurement.

Measure around your Dog's neck using a cloth measuring tape positioned where the collar sits on the neck. A cloth or flexible tape is best so it hugs your dogs contours and the result is more accurate. If you don't have a cloth tape then use a string and then measure the string with a flat ruler. Take this measurement and add two to three inches. The width of the collar can be smaller and more proportional to your dog's size. 1" for larger dogs, 3/4" for medium dogs and 1/2" or smaller for small or toy dogs is an approximate guide to follow.

Martingale Collar


Types of Collars

A flat everyday collar is the standard collar for Dogs. They are usually made of nylon or leather and often have a plastic or metal quick release closure. Some collars have a buckle mechanism similar to a belt. There is a metal ring for attaching your leash, ID tags or blinking lights for safety. Most breeds can wear a flat collar and the possible colors, styles and designs are endless. Personal styles are often expressed with sport teams, colors, metal studs and designs.

A Martingale collar is designed for dogs with narrow heads such as Greyhounds. Its designed so a narrow head dog cannot slip and back out of his collar. They are made to tighten up when the leash is pulled but they have a mechanism to prevent it from completely closing around the neck. By closing up it prevents the narrow head from slipping out of the collar. If you don't have a narrow head breed and he is slipping out of his collar it's probably because the collar is not the right size or fitted properly, a Martingale collar is not necessary.

Head collars look almost like a muzzle and fit around the base of your dog's head and around their muzzle close to their eyes. Their mouths can open, eating and drinking are not restricted at all. These collars are used for walking and controlling your dog and can also be included in the training collar category. The leash is attached under the dog's jaw so when they pull it forces their head down which stops them from pulling. A head collar is self correcting because the owner doesn't have to pull (yank) the leash to correct your dog, when the dog pulls it automatically pulls his head down which stops your dog from pulling. Caution should be taken not to yank on your dog with this collar because it will snap their head and neck.

Flea and tick collars are worn in addition to a regular collar. They contain chemicals to help protect your dog against fleas and ticks. Flea and Tick collars are usually effective for a period of time and need to be replaced regularly. Flea & Tick collars are not as strong as a regular collar and cannot be used for hooking a leash onto.

Pinch Collars


TRAIN Them Right

Choke or chain collars, whichever you choose to call it, are made to close up and tighten around the neck when a quick tug is made on the leash. These collars are used to correct unwanted behavior. I have seen some people use this for normal walking purposes, these type of collars should only be used for training. Many dog trainers have moved away from using this training method due to newer methods and collars. If you choose to use a choke collar learn how to use it properly and never leave it on your dog while unattended as it can pose a risk of strangulation.

Pinch collars or metal prong collars are similar to a choke collar but they do not close in on the neck. Instead, they have metal prongs that dig into the skin and neck when your dog pulls. Most people get these for strong dogs that like to pull a lot. My experience with one of these collars years back was that it didn't seem to work at all. My strong dog pulled on this collar and he didn't seem to be phased by it at all. He pulled on it so hard I actually feared what the collar was doing to him more than my dog did. A pinch collar should also be used for training purposes only and not for normal everyday walking. As like the choke collar, learn how to use one of these properly and never leave it on your dog unattended.

Electronic training collars or bark collars are methods for teaching your dog not to bark or do an unwanted behavior. Some bark collars are used just for barking and are activated by your dog barking and do not have a remote. An electronic training collar has a remote and the stimulation is activated by the trainer or owner when an unwanted behavior is acted by the dog. Many of these collars have different choices to stimulate your dog. Not just a shock but they also have vibration and noise stimulation for those that are against the shock method or for a change in training. These training collars usually have a nylon collar with a plastic closure but are not as strong and sturdy as a regular collar made for everyday walking. These collars should be used for training only and not everyday walking purposes.

Electronic Training Collar

Make sure to always attach a name tag and contact information in case your dog gets lost. Follow these Dog Collar tips to make sure that your Dog is fitted and wearing the appropriate collar. Doing this is not only a comfort situation for your Dog but also a safety one. Lets keep your Dog a happy one.

Currently, does your dog wear a collar or a harness?

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